Back in Texas, people often meet with friends for Sunday brunch to catch up on their weeks (especially in Austin, where tangerine-tinged mimosas flow in abundance). In Germany, however, brunch is a foreign concept. While practically every retail store is closed as if on holiday, several restaurants don’t open on the “day of rest” until noon or later.
Therefore, my family sometimes visits Starbucks in downtown Wiesbaden after mass to “spice up” their morning, since no other alternatives exist. We were surprised to find the American coffee company was to open later than expected, so we shuffled about the cobblestone streets hungry and somewhat disappointed.
And then we came across Der Maldaner.
Upon arrival, the café, of kaffeehaus, looks more like a wax museum of mannequins, similar to Madame Tussaud’s. Two peculiar characters dressed in somewhat garish gowns laugh and stare at passerby with champagne glasses in hand, making Der Maldaner a piquant location. Once you enter the café, however, the ambience resembles that of a 1920s restaurant. Imagine Gatsby’s house married Gianni Versace’s Miami mansion, and the interior decorating scheme will come to life.
Although I was initially stumped at missing out on Starbucks, I’m eternally grateful that we stumbled upon this pearl of a place. The decor makes Der Maldaner seem pricey, but coffees ranged from 1.50 Euro to 4 Euro, and breakfast platters ranged from 4 Euro to 6 Euro – not bad at all considering the quality and quantity of food provided.
So, if you’re ever searching for a posh and polished place to eat with an inviting atmosphere, try out Der Maldaner. There’s a reason why it’s been in business for more than 150 years!